Friday, June 24, 2011

New Monahans Greenhouse Fosters Job Growth, Food Security

Village Farms in the city of Monahans is preparing to hit a grand slam in the ballpark of Texas job growth and food security.

This agricultural company recently announced plans to build a new greenhouse that is expected to begin production early next year. This news comes as a cool refresher amidst the hot climate of the current economic depression, as the $42 million facility is set to create about 100 new jobs.

Featuring a massive 120-acre production space, the Monahans greenhouse will be one of the most advanced facilities of its kind. With that kind of powerhouse production, it’s only a matter of time until the Monahans greenhouse catches up with its sister site in Marfa, which broke the world record for tomato production in only its first year of operation.

More jobs and more fresh, homegrown Texas produce sounds like an investment worth growing. Yet another piece of evidence that it pays for Texas to continue to have low taxes, fair courts and reasonable regulations.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cotton Losses Due to Drought Will Literally Hit Your Pockets

We are receiving some much needed rain this week, but the dramatic impact of this drought is beginning to materialize and the outlook is grim.

According to Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. this may be the first year there is a 100-percent abandonment of the 2 million-acre dryland cotton crop in their service area around Lubbock. That area, by the way, accounts for about 80 percent of the state’s cotton production.

When you consider Texas produced 43 percent of the nation’s cotton crop last year, or 7.9 million bales of the U.S. total of 18.1 million bales, the potential loss spells big trouble.

A huge reduction in cotton is not only bad news for the $1.4 billion cotton industry and its 38,100 employees, but also for parents buying blue jeans and socks for their kids. Less cotton will likely mean higher prices for the cotton-based products you and I buy off the shelves or the rack.

Agriculture is a tremendously fulfilling enterprise. If you have ever grown even a single plant in your home, you understand the amazing and delicate process of nurturing a single seed. Magnify that scenario by the massive amounts of food we eat, clothes we wear and all the other agricultural products that enrich our daily lives, and you get an idea of the devastating impact of entire crop loss.

Let’s keep our cotton farmers, and the communities that depend on them, in our prayers during these severe drought conditions and extremely challenging times.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another Border Shootout Falls on Deaf Ears in Washington

In what should amount to another wake-up call to Washington this month, a second border shootout between Mexican drug cartels and U.S. law enforcement took place Sunday near the town of Mission. Although nobody was hurt (this time) as armed smugglers tried to push 500 pounds of marijuana into the United States, the news of gunfire aimed at U.S. citizens is absolutely unacceptable.

Making this latest episode even more unsettling is the fact that it came less than two weeks after law enforcement here in Texas returned 300 rounds of fire when smugglers attempted to draw first blood near the town of Abram. If these thugs sound brazen in their willingness to kill, it is because they are! They have no fear of federal firepower.

Unfortunately, the current administration continues to trumpet its claims that our border is safer than ever. Tell that to the officers who managed to dodge cartel bullets! The Texas farmers and ranchers featured on live with the constant danger and know the dead bodies they discover on their private property are NOT figments of their imaginations. Neither are the bullet holes in their pickups.

I’ll be the first to say we deeply appreciate the efforts and bravery of our local, state and federal law enforcement men and women, but it’s time for Washington to admit they’re outnumbered and outgunned. We must have more manpower and meet force with greater force. It’s also time for Washington to uphold its Constitutional duty to protect American citizens from foreign invaders who increasingly stop at nothing to traffic their drugs and humans across our borders and through our towns and ranches.

Wake up, Washington! If you don’t hear our continued cries for additional federal border protection, you’ll soon be hearing many more reports of bullets and bloodshed on American soil. Mr. President, we need more resources. Please send more help to secure our border; it’s well past time to answer your call to duty.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Thanks to Good Fathers

This Sunday, we celebrate the unique relationship between fathers and their children.

When we think of all the responsibilities of a good father, words like “teach,” “discipline” and “provide” come to mind. We expect our dads to “do.”

Along with words, many images are stirred. Maybe you remember the baseball practices your dad never missed, even after a long day of work. Perhaps you recall the times he helped pack and unpack heavy boxes as you moved from place to place through college. If you’re lucky, you may remember the lessons he taught by example without ever saying a word.

If you’ve been blessed with children of your own, maybe Father’s Day causes you to re-evaluate your role as a parent. Are you doing everything you can to ensure a healthy, productive future for your son or daughter?

It’s clear the presence or absence of a father in a child’s life has an enormous effect on their development. Fathers are given a unique opportunity to forever impact and influence the lives of their children.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, I applaud the fathers who have sacrificed their time, money and efforts for their children. No better investment can be made than one that touches the heart and mind of a child.

Happy Father’s Day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Patriotic Call for Border Security

While our federal government chooses to downplay the escalating threat of Mexican drug cartels on U.S. citizens, those of us who live on the front lines of this war to protect America’s sovereignty will continue to raise our voices.

Last week, Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco introduced the Southwest Cross-border Violence Recognition Act at a press conference in Austin. Unlike many in Washington, Congressman Canseco understands his duty to his constituents. His actions also demonstrate a patriotic adherence to the U.S. Constitution, which clearly places responsibility with the federal government for protecting American citizens from invasion by foreign sources wishing to do us harm. Make no mistake, these violent drug cartel members are terrorizing Americans. Let’s be clear – I mean terrorizing in every sense of the word.

Less than 24 hours after the press conference, a shootout between cartel members and U.S. law enforcement occurred on the border. While the good guys were thankfully unharmed, this latest volley of bullets served as another reminder of the encroaching criminal violence.

I applaud and support Congressman Canseco’s efforts to target cartel violence and fortify our border. Contrary to what Washington tells us, our border is more vulnerable than ever. Let’s hope it doesn’t take more blood and bullets for Washington to realize the enemy is here. We need more federal enforcement and we need it now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Border Shootout

This morning, Texas law enforcement officers were involved in a shootout with Mexican drug cartel members. You can review the Texas Department of Public Safety press release below. Unfortunately, this criminal violence on American soil is becoming all too frequent for our border residents and our brave law enforcement personnel. The federal government cannot continue to turn a blind eye on the attack on our sovereignty by these terrorists. Border security needs to be a top priority. We must push the current administration in Washington to acknowledge the problem and to provide the resources needed to protect our U.S. citizens. We will keep you updated on this latest incident on the Texas border and will continue to shine the light on our INsecure border. For continuous updates on border security, make sure to review our website at

Texas Department of Public Safety

June 9, 2011

Shootout between U. S. law enforcement and drug cartel on Texas border

Early this morning, U. S. law enforcement officers participating in a multi-agency Texas Ranger Recon operation were fired upon from Mexico while attempting to interdict a large drug load. At least three suspected drug runners were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

A suspicious vehicle on the U. S. side of the Rio Grande River was observed along with two cartel drug recovery boats. Three law enforcement patrol boats arrived on the scene and received heavy gun fire from the Mexico side while attempting to interdict the drug-laden boats.

Mexican authorities were notified of the abandoned cartel drug-laden boats and are on the scene.

### (PIO 2011-57)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Nutrition Programs Beginning Across State

I recently visited with school kids in Corpus Christi and Laredo where I kicked off my annual Mayors Challenge in an effort to feed hungry children this summer. While a lot of these kids are obviously excited about the summer break, there will be many at risk of being hungry because they will not have access to the school meals they rely on each day.

The Mayors Challenge is intended to remind parents about Summer Nutrition Programs and local feeding sites available to eligible children while school is closed. With the help of mayors across the state, I hope to raise awareness about these underutilized resources available to keep kids nourished.

How great is the need? Lunches served to low-income children drop from 2.3 million per day during the school year to just 418,000 per day in the summer. That’s an alarming disparity and a gap we should all try to close.

Summer is temporary and so too should be the short-term solutions for getting through difficult financial times. Education and gainful employment are the keys to any family’s independence. Let’s work toward creating those opportunities while keeping kids fed in the meantime. When children have access to nutritious food, their need for healthcare should go down. This is a boost not only for the children, but also for the taxpayer who often times pays the cost of healthcare.